Predicting when latent TB in elephants may become effective

Predicting when latent TB in elephants may become effective ...

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious illness caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb); the major cause of human death is caused by a single pathogen before the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. In elephants, the infections and deaths with TB have been reported worldwide, and elephant-to-human transmission has also been reported. This is because, therefore, elephant TB is a concern for both the conservation of this endangered animal as well as public health.

Most human TB cases develop from long-term asymptomatic TB (LTBI) (also known as a "dead-time infection"); therefore, human TB evaluations are necessary in order to prevent infection from developing. It is therefore difficult to apply the same tests used in humans, such as sputum collection or chest X-ray, to elephant. Therefore, antibody tests using serum, which is relatively straightforward to collect, have been conducted in recent years, but only a few types of antigens

An Asian elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis, Fuku) developed TB in 2015, and its three-year treatment was completed in 2018. This was the first TB therapy for elephants in Japan, as elephant TB had been reported, but all were recovered after postmortem examinations. For this case, serum from 12 years before the diagnosis had been cryopreserved. A research team from Niigata University and the University of Miyazaki, compared IgG antibodies against M

First, the presence of antibodies against two Mtb proteins, ESAT6/CFP10 and MPB83, was tested by DPP (Chembio, USA), a rapid TB test kit for elephants, which is already being used worldwide. As a result, antibodies against ESAT6/CFP10 were detected in all sera tested. This indicated that the elephant had been infected with Mtb 12 years prior to the development of disease and developed the disease following a prolonged asymptomatic infection, similar

ELISA assessed the presence of IgG antibodies to 11 Mtb proteins, including ESAT6/CFP10 and MPB83. This finding suggests that increased IgG antibodies against ESAT6/CFP10 and Ag85B were not detected once before the disease onset. It is likely that this increase of Anti-Ag85B IgG was effective during the replication of the antibodies. This suggests that early detection of TB progression from latency is possible.

The research team outlined a new approach to detect Mtb infection with ESAT6/CFP10, and to monitor disease development and treatment with Ag85B. However, these findings are based on only one case. Therefore, Dr. Satoshi Ishikawa, Professor Sohkichi Matsumoto, and Professor Naoaki Misawa (University of Miyazaki) said that "we would like to conduct joint research with universities in Southeast Asia, and verify the present findings with many elephant-TB cases in

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